Everybody already knows. Everybody already knows and even if they don’t. Who cares?
I care. Coming out is an experience that most homosexuals must go through at some point. I, myself, have not. Yet. Kind of.
I’m “out” to a lot of people. My closest friends. Some random people online. A few of my coworkers. But to those really important family members, I’m just not. It’s on my list of things to do, okay? Get off my back.
It’s been a plan for years now. Ever since I “found out” in high school, I’ve known that I’m going to need to tell my family that I fall in love with men. There’s been a date in my head; that date represents the day that I get to tell my family and then everything really starts to get better. But ever since high school, I’ve been pushing that date further back.
I’m always just close. Close to telling them, close to screaming it out loud, close to having that clichéd coming out experience. But never close enough to actually do it…
It’s coming though. I’m reaching a point where I just can’t keep it a secret anymore.
And the internet is because of that; in a good and bad way.
First, the bad way…
I had a boyfriend last year. He was great, but I ended it when I realized it wasn’t the best to be in a relationship when I couldn’t even come out to the most important people in my life. That was hard. I was really afraid it was going to slip out and I would be out. Which, at that point, I was definitely not ready for.
That was hard for me.
There were boyfriends after that. They all ended the same way. My fear of being exposed for living this other life had stopped me from feeling free.
I met a lot of these guys online. OkCupid, Facebook, POF, the almost countless services for connecting people all helped me find people that I could emotionally connect with.
The internet felt so free! Until I realized that it wasn’t quite so. No matter how free I felt, it wasn’t real. That freedom I felt was disconnected from anything real.
There was a few guys that I felt love for. They were great and I found myself falling for them, until the point where I had to actually meet them came. Having a relationship online was the honeymoon stage of the relationship. It was great…and then came the real world. No way was I going to tell my family that I was gay AND the guy that I thought I was in love with was someone I met online. It just felt like too much.
So these relationships ended…
And then the good way came…
Somewhere along the way, I found a Facebook group online. The group was a community of gay men who wanted to discuss and celebrate (mostly) their geekiness. I took to the group because, at that point (which was somewhere around my senior year of high school), I had not realized that being gay didn’t mean that I had to fit into the stereotypes set by popular culture.
I didn’t have to hate things because I was gay.
Such a mind-blowingly simple statement, but I did think that I would fall into that stereotype or be viewed like I already had when I came out.
This group became something that I looked forward to posting to and the men inside it showed me that being gay is just another feature on the list of features about you, not your main defining aspect.
I’m glad that they helped me figure that out. I’ve made a lot of friends because of that realization.
And that leaves me where I am today…
I am a 21 year-old college senior working on a journalism degree while not wanting to be a journalist who is overweight. I am a man who doesn’t cry very much, just for the important things. I am someone who loves television more than should be allowed by law and knows that technology is his downfall and his up-spin. I am also gay.
I’m also not out to everyone that matters to me. Thanks to the internet, I’m closer than ever to coming out to my family and further away. I’ve been so comfortable being all those things online, but finding my way to being that way IRL is a whole other story.
Maybe someday I’ll be confident about this.
This was supposed to be a coming out post. But it’s not so much a coming out post, as a look into me. Who I am and where I’ve been and where I want to go.
I spent more than a week writing, and re-writing, and re-re-writing until I thought it would be good enough to post online for a few people to see how long it was and then never read. There’s a problem with that, I know it, but I’m not ready to deal with that quite yet.
I guess this is a coming out post still.
TLDR; I’m a fucking human! It’s news to everyone!
P.S. This post got away from me. LONG-FORM COMING OUT POSTS ARE HARD!!!
P.P.S I threw up at the though of posting this to my personal Facebook.